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 Garmin Forerunner 301 on Amazon
Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Garmin Forerunner 301 on Amazon Posted: Fri Jan 07, 2005 3:03 pm 

The newest version of Garmin's popular Forerunner series is available now for pre-ordering on Amazon: Garmin Forerunner 301. There's also a nicely detailed product description. No word on precisely when it'll be available for shipping, though. It looks basically the same as the Forerunner 201 but with the addition of a heart rate monitor.

The price looks steep, though: $299 versus $115 for the Forerunner 201. The addition of a HRM to an already great package is nice, but it's hard to see how that justifies a $184 price increase. But if you've got the money to spend, I'd say this will be [ithe [/i]running gadget to buy for 2005.


OldManRunner
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Rochester, NY
Joined: 28 Nov 2004
Posts: 262

Re: Garmin Forerunner 301 on Amazon Posted: Fri Jan 07, 2005 4:24 pm 

So, what's the cheapest thing on the market that will reliably tell me my pace? I don't care about heart rate so much, the ability to download stat's would be nice but not necessary, but I'm such a terrible judge of pace that something that could reliably help me there would be great.

Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: Garmin Forerunner 301 on Amazon Posted: Fri Jan 07, 2005 4:38 pm 

See the article on speed/distance monitors from last month: http://www.runworks.com/viewtopic.php?t=27

The Forerunner 201 is $115 from Amazon. That's probably your best bet if you don't care about heart rate.


mfox

South Orange, New Jersey
Joined: 19 Dec 2004
Posts: 367

Re: Garmin Forerunner 301 on Amazon Posted: Fri Jan 07, 2005 5:26 pm 

OldManRunner wrote:
So, what's the cheapest thing on the market that will reliably tell me my pace? I don't care about heart rate so much, the ability to download stat's would be nice but not necessary, but I'm such a terrible judge of pace that something that could reliably help me there would be great.


I haven't tried the Garmin Forerunner, but I have tried the FItSense (uses footpod attached to your shoelace) and the Timex (uses GPS receiver strapped to your arm) and neither was accurate enough to satisfy me. They claim 97% accuracy. That sounds pretty good until you realize that 97% accurace is equivalent to tellingl you that your actual 7 min pace is anywhere from a 6:47 to 7:12 minute pace (+/- .03% ~ +/- 12 seconds). So, if you are trying to run a 7 minute pace for a tempo run and your GPS watch tells you your running 7:12....do you speed up or trust your watch is off 12 seconds. If you speed up...you would actually be running a 6:48 which could be too fast to complete a good 5 mile tempo run.

I tried to use the Timex model during the Staten Island Half Marathon back in 2002 just to see how accurate it would be on a certified course where there was very little to no overhead obstructions (the course isn't surrounded by lots of tall buildings like Manhattan or tall trees like on a trail). I pace and distance it showed was just too far off to be relied on. Some of the mile splits showed as .98 while others showed as 1.03. If it were just always off by more OR less and not both then you might be able to compensate for the discrepancy during your run.

I looooooove gadgets, but in I'm just not sure how useful the a GPS watch is if you want to use it as a training tool. The best it can do is give you a close approximation of the distance you've covered on an unmarked course.

I ended up returning both of these devices and haven't tried anything else since. Anyone else have any better experience with different GPS watches?


Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: Garmin Forerunner 301 on Amazon Posted: Fri Jan 07, 2005 5:35 pm 

I have the Nike Triax Elite, which uses technology similar to the Fitsense. I've had a little bit better luck than you, but I agree it's not magic and there's certainly some error in the readings.

Where I've found it most useful is as a secondary means of judging pace or distance. For example, I'll run a trail that has markers every mile. If I'm doing a tempo run, I'll check my pace every so often between the mile markers, to make sure I'm not speeding up or slowing down to much. Then when I get to the marker, I take the actual mile split.

Being able to download all the data and examine it on your PC is also nice, even if it's off by a couple percent. You'll get lots of "ooh, there's where I hit the wall" moments, and it's lots of fine if you like graphs and charts.


mfox

South Orange, New Jersey
Joined: 19 Dec 2004
Posts: 367

Re: Garmin Forerunner 301 on Amazon Posted: Fri Jan 07, 2005 7:39 pm 

I've wondered about whether the Nike device was a bit more accurate. Where as the TImex device relies on GPS reception and the Fitsense relies on foot strike interval, the Nike relies on foot acceleration...doesn't it? Can you elaborate more on how accurate you've found the Nike Triax Elite to be?

Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: Garmin Forerunner 301 on Amazon Posted: Fri Jan 07, 2005 8:11 pm 

I think the Nike technology is identical to the Fitsense. In my experience, it's been accurate to within about 2% or so. It's hard to say for certain, because outside of a track, you never really know how well measured the mile markers that you see are. So when the markers and the distance monitor disagree, which one do you believe?

Since the accuracy is about the same between GPS and footpod technology, GPS seems like the better choice. It's one less piece of equipment, and no calibration is needed. It also works for biking, whereas the footpod does not.


mfox

South Orange, New Jersey
Joined: 19 Dec 2004
Posts: 367

Re: Garmin Forerunner 301 on Amazon Posted: Fri Jan 07, 2005 8:24 pm 

Accuracy being equal, my choice is the footpod (for running) because you don't have to worry about trees or buildings. But I think trail running can be a problem since it's calibrated to your pace and trail running tends to force your pace to change (if it's tough terrain). That's where I thought the Nike would be better; if indeed it works on detected accelaration. The idea being that if the acceration is greater or longer you pace is faster (quicker turn over or longer stride). I may be totally wrong.

But I defintely like the idea of using the Forerunner for hiking and running in unfamiliar areas and being able to find my way back with the breadcrumb feature. I have a running website in mind that I'd like to create someday (when I have the time) that would be a resource for running routes mapped out with GPS technology (distance and elevation). Rather than posting route directions like: start on corner of Main St. and Broad, run North to the start of the bike trail and follow the trail until you come to the turn-around and head back. Instead there would be an accurate map showing the route, elevation, and mile markers. Maybe even provide routes that could be uploaded onto various GPS devices to be checked as you run. This would be especially useful for trail runs I think.


runnerswife


Joined: 08 Dec 2004
Posts: 33

Re: Garmin Forerunner 301 on Amazon Posted: Fri Jan 07, 2005 11:42 pm 

Rickshaw wrote:


The Forerunner 201 is $115 from Amazon. That's probably your best bet if you don't care about heart rate.

I also saw the Forerunner at Target on the end of an aisle (!) around christmastime. (sorry, Rob, I didn't get you one. ;-) I was surprised there were enough hard-core runners wanting GPS pace monitors to make it a display item at Target. Don't remember what the price was though; probably more than Amazon if you can get free super saver shipping.


mfox

South Orange, New Jersey
Joined: 19 Dec 2004
Posts: 367

Re: Garmin Forerunner 301 on Amazon Posted: Sat Jan 08, 2005 8:12 am 

I saw on Garmin's web site the Best Buy and Circuit City are resellers. But I couldn't find it at either store. One of the sales reps at Best Buy told me they no longer sell the Forerunner because there wasn't enough iinterest...they weren't selling.

OldManRunner
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Rochester, NY
Joined: 28 Nov 2004
Posts: 262

Re: Garmin Forerunner 301 on Amazon Posted: Sat Jan 08, 2005 11:13 am 

Thanks for your feedback everyone...it's been very useful. I think the point about all the options on the market being only 97% to 98% accurate may have convinced me that I'm not ready to buy one of these doohickeys yet. I can generally judge my own pace accurately within +/- 10 or 12 seconds. What I want is something that can reliably tell me what my pace is realtime +/- 5 seconds so that, as I think mfox said, I know whether I'm running my tempo workout at 7:10 = 7:05 to 7:15 pace and not 7:10 = 6:58 to 7:22 pace. I have to admit, too, that I hate the huge size of the Garmin 201. Anyone who has one, what's it like to run with it on your wrist? They look so big and clunky.

MarkUlrich


Joined: 07 Jan 2005
Posts: 3

Re: Garmin Forerunner 301 on Amazon Posted: Mon Jan 10, 2005 1:57 pm 

If you don't care about heart rate monitoring then your answer is simple... the Garmin Forerunner 201.

I've got it, and love it. One of the major reasons why is the currently free (at least during the ongoing beta-test) website at www.motionbased.com. Highly recommended.

The only caution I'd pass along regarding the Forerunner 201 is to wear the unit on your upper arm in lieu of your wrist. Doing so will significantly improve GPS reception, and thus accuracy.


Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: Garmin Forerunner 301 on Amazon Posted: Mon Jan 10, 2005 2:52 pm 

OldManRunner wrote:
Anyone who has one, what's it like to run with it on your wrist? They look so big and clunky.

I don't have one, but I know some people who do, and it's less bulky than it appears in photos. I'd estimate it's about twice as wide as a regular running watch such as a Timex Ironman, and thicker. Not the most stylish thing in the world, but still smaller than I was expecting.


Pretender
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Kansas, OK
Joined: 14 Dec 2004
Posts: 100

Re: Garmin Forerunner 301 on Amazon Posted: Mon Jan 10, 2005 3:41 pm 

[quote="mfox"]
OldManRunner wrote:
(snip) Anyone else have any better experience with different GPS watches?


No, but I do wonder why these aren't more accurate. I know you don't always get a good signal, but there are times/places where you don't have that problem and yet they still are only 97% accurate. Artillery units use GPS and are spot-on. They can drop a piece of ordinance onto a very small target many miles away. Isn't it the same technology or does the military just have better toys? I'm curious...


Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: Garmin Forerunner 301 on Amazon Posted: Mon Jan 10, 2005 6:05 pm 

I saw the 201 at REI today ($150). Try there if you want to see it in person before spending your money.

Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: Garmin Forerunner 301 on Amazon Posted: Mon Jan 10, 2005 6:09 pm 

Pretender wrote:
Isn't it the same technology or does the military just have better toys? I'm curious...

It is the same technology. But there's a difference between knowing your location, and accumulating distance traveled. If you stand still for a few moments, any GPS can lock your position very accurately, assuming nothing's blocking the signal. But where you're constantly moving around, and especially if the receiver is mounted on your wrist so it swings up and down, it makes it tougher to get an accurate lock. Even when stationary, GPS accuracy is "only" good to about 15 feet or so. If you add a lot of 15 foot zig-zags onto your true running route, it can easily add up to several percent worth of error.


Pretender
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Kansas, OK
Joined: 14 Dec 2004
Posts: 100

Re: Garmin Forerunner 301 on Amazon Posted: Tue Jan 11, 2005 1:53 pm 

Well, yes, except that ICBM's reach speeds of about 25,000 mph and use GPS. But then, they probably use the still unreleased Garmin 401. :o)

Jojox

Paris, France
Joined: 12 Jan 2005
Posts: 1

Re: Garmin Forerunner 301 on Amazon Posted: Wed Jan 12, 2005 7:48 am 

Hi, new to this forum, been running a little while now.
I have a question about these things - do they work in Europe? I am living in Paris for a few years, and am wondering if it's worth considering a GPS.
My wife and I will be hiking a lot in the alps too, so it might help there. But these watch-like devices don't have maps or anything do they? Is there something that is a combination of the two? Like a larger device that has a wrist detachment?

Do you have to pay a subscription fee to use the GPS? Or does it just always work?

Thanks for the help..

Josh


Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: Garmin Forerunner 301 on Amazon Posted: Wed Jan 12, 2005 9:56 am 

Hi Jojox, welcome to the forum.

A GPS will work anywhere in the world, even out in the middle of the ocean. There is no subscription fee to pay. Pretty much it just always works. The only exception is that you may have trouble getting a clear signal if you are in an urban area with many tall buildings nearby, or in a dense forest with tall trees.

The Forerunner doesn't have maps, but other GPS units do. There's something called the Foretrex that fits on your wrist but is a more convential GPS-- it may have maps. Many conventional GPS receivers such as the Garmin Legend have maps built in.


Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Garmin Forerunner 301 now shipping at www.tvnav.com Posted: Thu Jan 20, 2005 5:09 pm 

The Forerunner 301 is now shipping, although apparently not yet from Amazon. Garmin dealer www.tvnav.com has them in stock now at $215, considerably better than the suggest list price of $299. In addition to the heart rate monitor, the GPS antenna is supposedly improved, a bunch of software updates were added, and it now connects to your computer via USB.

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